A Perfect Au Pair
Do you want to travel for longer, cheaper and really immerse yourself with the local culture? If so becoming an au pair (live-in nanny) can be a perfect job opportunity. I have not yet had the time to become an au pair during my travels, so I brought my friend Dylan in to give us the low down on how to get the job, how to be good at it and all the details in between.
Kayden: How do you go about getting a job as an au pair?
Dylan: I created a profile on an au pair site, I used aupairworld.com.
K: Do you have any tips that will make people's profiles stand out? And how long does it normally take to get a response?
D: Sounding mature and responsible is important. Emphasize that you are really good with kids and if you can get experience beforehand, that looks even better. Put up good photos of your face and of activities that make you look interesting and fun. It's important to note that if you are not good with kids and do not totally love working with kids, being an au pair is probably not the right job for you.
I got responses within 24 hours although that is not always normal. I made my account at the end of summer when families start to look for their au pair for the year. Timing is everything, being patient, and being flexible to work with the family. Always be quick to reply. You may have an amazing profile but if you are not quick to reply, people will move on and find other au pairs.
K: Awesome. So, once you're in, what happens from there? Do you get to know the family before you go?
D: Yes, in we talked via Skype on a few occasions. They were able to interview me and get to know my personality and what I would be like.
K: What is the normal pay like? Do they cover all of your expenses?
D: It depends on what you work out with your family. With me, I payed for my own flight but I get accommodations, food, and a small amount of payment. Not to mention all of the other perks that come along such as work experience, living in another country and immersing yourself with locals. Sometimes, the host family will pay for your flights as a curtesy although this is not necessary or very common.
K: Are there any drawbacks of being an au pair? Is there any other advice you would give to aspiring au pairs?
D: There can be drawbacks if you are not aware of what you are getting into. It's a full time job and can often be very demanding if you don't love to work with kids. I've also heard stories of people not getting along with their families and it not working out. I would recommend getting to know the family via Skype beforehand. The family can often be reserved with letting you get to know the children first. For myself, I made it necessary to meet the children via Skype before coming over so that I knew they were real. It was important for my peace of mind.